Portugal shuts schools as COVID-19 cases, deaths soar

Portugal’s schools and universities will close doors for at least 15 days, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday as authorities scrambled to tackle the country’s worst outbreak since the pandemic started.

“Despite the extraordinary effort of schools … in the face of this new variant and the velocity of its transmission, we must exercise precaution and interrupt all school activities for the next 15 days,” Costa said.

Costa was referring to the more contagious variant of the coronavirus discovered in Britain, which was spreading rapidly across Portugal.